Kidney failure is common in dogs and cats, especially as they age, called chronic renal failure.
The signs seen with kidney failure may be dramatic - failure to urinate, anorexia, vomiting. Often more subtle changes are seen, often attributed to "just old age." Knowing the signs of kidney failure will help you get your pet to the vet sooner to begin treatment.
What signs did you notice, and how do you cope with your pet's kidney disease and manage clinical signs at home?Share your experiences
My sweet, sweet ol' guy
- My 19 year old orange tabby died two days ago. He showed signs of renal failure and thyroid issues for two years. His weight decreased slowly, but he drank tons of water daily until his last two days. I only wanted to keep him comfortable and didn't want to have to give him complicated procedures and diet changes. He greeted me every evening when I came home from work, even on his very last day. He jumped up on the sink to drink water from the faucet, but seemed confused once he was up there and didn't know how to drink. I then took him to the kitchen to get some food (noticed he barely ate his food that day and none of the snacks that he loved). I knew I needed to take him to the emergency room. Once there, it was like he knew it was time to go. He stood up to be weighed (5.7 lbs - pretty much skin and bones), and then lay down on the vet's table, never to get up again. We said our goodbyes and he went peacefully. My poor, poor guy. I hope he wasn't in pain.
- —Guest Patricia
Mastiff with CRF and Kidney Infection
- Two months ago, my 9-year old mastiff had seizures so we rushed her to the vet. She was diagnosed with stage 3 chronic renal failure. Our vet said it was due to age and sent her home with Hills K/D. I made her low-phosphorus snacks and popsicles for added hydration. I gave her Tums to bind the phosphorus and Pepcid for her nausea. For a while, she did better and her labs showed an improvement in kidney function. But then I noticed some mucus in her urine. She had a severe kidney infection. While we waited for the culture, our vet put her on Baytril and that didn't work. Then, he put her on Cephalexin. That didn't work and made her ill. Finally, the culture came back, showing that she had three organisims in her urine. Our vet switched her to Cipro. Now, she's very ill--vomitting and not eating or drinking. The Cipro is making her ill, but without it, the infection will kill her. I'm not sure what to do now. There are no good options, but I think it's time to put her to sleep.
- —Guest BB
Haley - 16 year old Calico
- Haley was my baby, picked her out as a kitten and she was my best friend for the next 16 and a half years! She gradually lost weight (6 or 7 lbs) over a year but all of her blood tests and organ functions were normal so the vet said there was really nothing they could do. She had an insatiable appetite for food and water but they promised me she did not have diabetes. In December she stopped eating which was a sure sign something was wrong. Took her to the vet and they said she was severely dehydrated even though she was taking in ridiculous amounts of water. They diagnosed her with renal failure and gave her 6 weeks to live. She was living on strawberry pediasure for the next 3 days, on day 4 I woke up and couldn't find her. She was under the bed and couldn't walk. She had lost complete control of her back end and she would just fall over if she tried to walk. I made an appt to have her put down but she died peacefully at home just minutes later. We buried her in our yard :)
- —Guest Jill
- My 17 yr old Siamese was Diagnosist with renal failure a couple months back. Until 2 days ago her symptoms have been a LOT of water drinking and urinating and pacing..she would squat anywhere.. we currently have her crated awaiting Dr. appointment tomorrow.. She has NEVER peed anyplace but her cat box. I have two in different locations in the house and they are ALWAYS kept scooped.
Callie my beloved
- Callie, broke her leg 2-19-2013, her kidneys were so bad her age and weight were also aginst her, Dr, Miller said her chances of coming through surgery were slim and that she would never be well again. I, bought NuVet for her kidneys but they didn't help, . She passed yesterday had to have her put to sleep. I, was with her to the end she is no longer suffering but my heart is broken Priscilla
- —Guest priscilla
Renal Failure in a small Shih Tzu
- My 5 YOA baby (sara) died quickly (a couple of mths after diagnosis). I hv been inundated by some rodent. All I see is mostly urine. I cleaned a small pile of defacation but don't see much of that. They hv ruined my carpet, hallway carpet & my bed(they go up in the box springs). That is where they stay, underneath my bed?? Not only am I sleeping there, but before I lost Sara, there were also two dogs. I am convinced that the urine is what killed Sara. She had just had surgery, weighed eight lbs which she lost quickly & walked back & forth on that urine filled carpet. I don't know what it is. I haven't seen it but it roams at night. Couple nights ago, one knocked a bottle of pills off my night stand, right next to my head. Their hair is gray fur. It is not mice or rats. I have tried every trap there is. My other dog is constantly licking her feet until they swell. Again, walking on urine, I'm sure. I had C.Dif and worry about myself. There hv been exterminators but nothing. Any idea?
- —Guest Joan
- My Pomeranian of 14 years suddenly declined in health just before Christmas. He had arthritis but lived quite comfortably then all of a sudden from an active dog that still ran and barked just stopped barking and looked quite weak.i was in and out of the vet for weeks getting him arthritis injections thinking it was that,then his health just dropped,wouldn't eat or drink very little, then a week ago he started throwing up and couldnt keep food or water down so went back to vet who to told me to keep him way from fatty foods, he was on boiled rice with tuna/chicken but he couldnt eat,was weak and would stand in one spot and look at the floor,he found it hard to walk just lay down all day.2 days ago he threw up again and in the morning he back legs gave way and I put him in his bed he had a seizure and was howling so loud maybe from the pain he had.raced him to the vet,was put down,will never know what was really wrong,vet wanted to do X-rays but my boy was suffering,had to let him go
- —Guest Maria
Renal failure due to Waggin Train jerky
- My 6 yr old male Maltese/Bichon mix fell ill in Jan 2012. Vomiting, lethargic, tremors, renal failure, not eating, weight and hair loss, jaundice, excessive drinking and urination. After several trips to the vet and near death in March 2012. After research on the internet, I found I wasn't alone. My Buster had been poisoned by tainted dog treats. He is still in renal failure but is on 8 medications a day. He has his urine taken and tested, at first it was every month now he has it tested every 3 months. He is stable as of now 1-6-13. But will be on meds for the rest of his shortened life. All because of a product that is Made in China. My Buster is still alive but fighting to keep his kidneys functioning every day. Some others online have lost their furbabies due to these tainted treats. Please research what treats and food you give your pets and give them nothing Made in China! What an awful experience for me and my furbaby!
be aware of the symptoms
- my 21 year old had to be put downin october. in august he began drinking considerable amounts of water and peeing his bed at night. he then began walking in a drunk type manner with reduced motor skills. i attributed this to an old disc problem he has had in the past. lost a lot of weight, especially around he hind legs. during tbe last few days stopped eating when previously he ate very well. when he looked like he was in pain we took him to the vet asap. they said his walking issues were not a slipped disc but from blood toxicity. they recommended he be put down. he was just too thin and wimpering
- —Guest maxximus
- Yesterday I had to put my baby and bestfriend alice down. She was almost 2 yrs old and was a dachshund. Monday she started acting sick. She was cold to touch and was not eating. She was also throwing up after she drank water. I had no idea what was wrong. Tuesday she got worse. She could barley walk. So I rushed her to the vet. At the time the vet wasn't sure what was wrong so she kept her over night to run tests. At 12 on Wednesday I got the worse call of my life. The vet said her kidneys are failing and there isn't anything we could do. My poor baby looked so under weight and tired. We were very close. She was with me since 6 weeks and my whole pregnancy. I am so lost without her and can't stop crying and thinking about her. It makes it worse for me cuz I have 2 of her pups. I guess I should be happy cuz ill also have a part of her but I'm so heart broke. The vet said she either was poisned of its genetic. She was so younge and in great health. I will never forget my baby alice
- —Guest rachel
Lost my 4 year old cat to ARF
- My cat was 4 & only symptomatic a day before she was euthanized. Now I'm reading about acute kidney failure & see that 1 of the early symptoms is vomiting. My cat did vomit, but not daily. Her vomit would have digested food in it - never blood. She was also a long-haired cat & they throw up hairballs alot. Had I known that vomiting was an early symptom I would have taken her to the vet months ago. I noticed her symptoms on a Monday & she died the next day. She was laying around & not eating. When I took her to the vet the next day she was diagnosed with ARF & she also started having labored breathing. I left her at the vet & they gave her fluids, but they called me later that day & said that her breathing was so labored they didn't think she'd make it thru the night, so I had to make the decision to have her euthanized. When they brought her in the room it broke my heart - she was gasping for air so I know I made the right decision & I was able to be with her when she died.
- —Guest MLM
- Root did some early signs. Urge to urinate at night and drinking excessive amount of water. I thought old age, I feel so awful, vet never mention anything about possible kidney or remake failure. Then they said he would not quality of life. Heartache big time
- —Guest john
My lil 7 years old boy
- My boy was diagnose with Kidney problem today and it was his start of fluid therapy and all those medicines, he look so restless, he didn't wan to pee and there's nothing we can do to help him. And as for eating, i've to feed him manually with my hand for food and through a syringe or straw for water. He was my everything, felt so heartpain.
- —Guest Olivia
- My 14 yr old dacshund was just put to sleep last Monday, she had kidney failure, they couldn't even put a number on it. I thought she had an upset stomach as she had diahrrea and vomiting. I took her to the vet on the 4th day and her blood work came back and the kidneys were gone. The vet didn't give much hope, we could do intravenous fluids then probably dialysis but she might only last 2 months and wouldn't be the same dog. I wonder if I had brought her in sooner maybe she could have still be here but she ate some chicken on the Saturday but vomited it up in the afternoon when the vet was closed. I rescued her when she was 8 yrs old so I only had her for 6 yrs, it was such a shock to lose her, she was my baby. I have another dachshund who is 17 and deaf and blind but so sweet and eats and drinks everything. Who knows why she is living such a long life and my other one, Rosie had to leave me. I miss her so much.
- —Guest Diana Fetterman
- My lab mix just passed away, took him in on a Friday and I had to put him down, loss weight, no appetite, blood in stool, and was vomiting. This all went down within one week. He was my 12 yr old boy, he was everything to me.
- —Guest john